Family-friendly beach resort in Southern California?
March 25, 2015 1:30 PM   Subscribe

My family be traveling to southern California for a wedding this summer. I'm open to staying anywhere from LA to San Diego, but am stumped as to where to stay. Help us have a relaxing time!

Finicky requirements below, in order of importance:

1. Need a resort with a kids clubs and activities for a 4-year-old. Dad's going to be working, we have a 2-year-old as well, and I am exhaustingly pregnant, so I'd like options for entertaining the kids during the day.

2. Large suites available to accommodate the kiddos, ideally with a kitchen. The nicer the better. This will be our last trip before we have three children and never fly again, so we are willing to splurge.

3. On the beach. Again, for ease of toddler entertainment.

We typically don't do the resort thing, but want to give it a try given how tired I've been feeling. General advice about resorts, chains, etc. would be greatly appreciated too.
posted by snickerdoodle to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is this a separate leg of the trip from the wedding? It'll be a lot less of a hassle if you don't have to drive 3 hours each way to the wedding.

Off the top of my head there's Terranea in Rancho Palos Verdes (south coast of LA) which is kind of the premiere non-Malibu LA area resort. It's built on the previous location of Marineland of the Pacific, a kind of Sea World-type park. There's probably a lot of other options in the Orange County and San Diego counties though.
posted by JauntyFedora at 1:56 PM on March 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

A few years ago I stayed at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, because I always wanted to try it out. It has everything you ask for, but is very expensive. Outside of that, I've stayed at a couple different places in La Jolla on the beach that were more affordable, but less all-inclusive resort type and more just nice hotels in a nice location.
posted by mathowie at 2:13 PM on March 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Hotel Del is very nice. Montage Laguna Beach is outstanding, and would be my pick. But I don't think either (or any of the beach resorts I can think of in this area) offers kitchens.
posted by primethyme at 2:25 PM on March 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Where is the wedding? There are countless possibilities along this 125-mile stretch between LA and SD.
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:27 PM on March 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wedding is in the inland empire, so we will relocate there for the day itself. For various reasons, I don't want to stay there for the entire trip. Thanks all!
posted by snickerdoodle at 3:30 PM on March 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Paradise Point In San Diego might be perfect. It's on the bay so lots of beach with gentle waves, which is great for little ones as the ocean can be pretty rough around here. I think you can get bungalows with kitchens and can be on the beach as well.

The grounds are lovely but I've just visited folks staying there and gone to a conference there, so am not sure about the amenities. Especially about kids activities, but there's some mention of a seasonal kids camp, and sea world is a stones throw and may have a camp or something. It might be worth checking out.

I think it's lovely and would totally stay there with little ones if I didn't live so near by...

(If you end up heading to San Diego and want some kid recommendations Memail me, my oldest just turned two so my knowledge skews a little younger, but happy to share what I know :)
posted by pennypiper at 7:50 PM on March 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Seconding Paradise Point. Also take a look at the lovely Omni La Costa Resort (north San Diego). It is a mile or so from the beach, but they have a popular kids club. Really fun sandy beach-sloped children's pool. Splash pad water feature and slides, and a small slide for the little one. They have villas with kitchens as well as more standard suites. Really great spa, good restaurants. Grocery store very close by. (SoCal beaches can be quite rough and the water is pretty cold even in summer.)
posted by gryphonlover at 8:05 PM on March 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Hotel Del does have cottages and suites with kitchens, but as Matt says, the place is really expensive. Rooms with kitchens will be somewhere above $1K/night.

One of the La Jolla places Matt might be talking about is the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, which does have kids stuff and suites available with kitchens. Also fairly expensive, but more in the $300/night range.

If you can do without kid stuff, and want to stay not just ON the beach, but BEYOND the beach, there's Crystal Pier.
posted by LionIndex at 9:15 PM on March 25, 2015

There's always the Ritz in Laguna. Fantastic beach, great rooms, and lots of kids activities through Ritz Kids
posted by Arbac at 10:53 PM on March 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

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